12/16 22:51 CST Back in the game: Foles leads Eagles past Rams 30-23
Back in the game: Foles leads Eagles past Rams 30-23
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) --- Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles hope they're about
to make another late-season run that begins with another big road win over the
Foles took over for Carson Wentz and passed for 270 yards, and Wendell
Smallwood rushed for two touchdowns in the Eagles' 30-23 victory over Los
Angeles on Sunday night.
Rookie Josh Adams also rushed for a score as the Eagles (7-7) kept their
playoff hopes alive with a gritty victory over the Rams (11-3), who lost
consecutive regular-season games for the first time in coach Sean McVay's
The Eagles scored 17 consecutive points in the third quarter and then survived
the Rams' late rally. They got help from Los Angeles returner JoJo Natson, who
fumbled a punt return that D.J. Alexander recovered with 2:51 to play.
After Philadelphia's Jake Elliott missed a field goal with 1:08 left, Jared
Goff got the Rams to the Philadelphia 18 with 4 seconds to play --- but he
couldn't connect with Josh Reynolds on a pass to the goal line as time expired.
Foles went 24 of 31 in his first game action since Week 2 in place of Wentz,
who sat out with a back injury that could sideline him for the rest of the
season. Foles also took over the Eagles at the Coliseum last December,
relieving Wentz during a division-clinching 43-35 win and riding that wave all
the way to the Super Bowl MVP award and Philadelphia's first NFL championship
The Eagles still trail NFC East leader Dallas (8-6) and sit even with
Washington (7-7), so they will need help to get back into the postseason. But
they'll get an enormous boost from this performance against the powerhouse
Rams, who fell too far behind to catch up.
Todd Gurley rushed for two touchdowns --- giving him an NFL-best 21 TDs this
season --- while catching 10 passes 76 yards. Goff passed for 339 yards with
two interceptions in the Rams' first loss at the Coliseum this season.
Philadelphia is the only team to beat the Rams twice in McVay's two seasons in
The Rams already have won the NFC West title, and they still control their
destiny for a first-round playoff bye with Chicago (10-4) right behind them.
But Los Angeles also has produced three straight pedestrian performances since
that epic 54-51 Monday night win over Kansas City last month and an ensuing bye
Although the Rams made a 13-play scoring drive that consumed nearly half of the
first quarter, Foles and the Philadelphia offense had three scoring drives in
the first half, including a 75-yard march culminating in Adams' TD run shortly
The Eagles took a 20-13 lead shortly after halftime with a two-play, 59-yard
drive ending in Smallwood's first TD run since Week 3. After a Philadelphia
field goal, Goff stumbled with a snap and basically handed the ball to a
rushing Corey Graham, who returned the interception to set up a drive ending in
another TD run by Smallwood late in the third quarter.
Los Angeles finally mounted an 84-yard drive capped by Gurley's second TD run
with 4:06 left, and the defense got a stop --- but Natson simply lost control
of the ball after catching the punt and making an initial juke.
Foles repeatedly connected with Alshon Jeffery, who had eight catches for 160
yards. Zach Ertz had three receptions to become the fourth tight end in NFL
history with 100 catches in a season.
Eagles: DT Fletcher Cox went to the locker room on a cart during the first half
with a hip injury, but returned to the field before halftime.
Rams: Gurley missed several snaps in the second half with a knee injury, but
returned. His longtime backup, Malcolm Brown, is out for the season, leaving
inexperienced Justin Davis and John Kelly as Los Angeles' only other
Eagles: Host the Houston Texans on Sunday, Dec. 23. Houston can wrap up the AFC
South with a victory.
Rams: Visit the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, Dec. 23. LA shut out the Cardinals
at the Coliseum in September.
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